Trump, losing his grip on GOP, wields less influence as crises mount

In recent days, GOP lawmakers who once saluted — or at least didn’t publicly oppose — Trump initiatives have thrown cold water on some of his ideas and proposals — rejecting his suggestion to delay the Nov. 3 election, repudiating his unsubstantiated claims that mail-in-voting leads to mass fraud, eliminating funds for a new FBI headquarters across from his hotel, and snubbing his calls for a payroll tax cut…

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“He has lost a great deal of his personal power,” said David Gergen, a counselor to four presidents. “He still has his constitutional powers, and, if anything, he’s pushing more against the limits of those. But he’s lost the ability to rally people behind him and there’s no one thing he can do as president to turn this around.

“Most Republicans know that,” Gergen continued. “So increasingly, it becomes every man or woman for themselves.”…

“When you’ve got administration officials on the hill trying to negotiate the next round of COVID relief and he’s on the golf course tweeting about a payroll tax cut — completely disengaged and not remotely connected to the conversations his own people are having with congressional leaders — that’s a bystander in chief,” said Michael Steel, a former top aide to John A. Boehner, the Ohio Republican who served as House speaker from 2011 to 2015.

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